'Champions For Life,' Biography Of Ex-USC Sprinter Payton Jordan, Available Soon

Nov. 22, 2004

'Champions for Life,' the story of the life and character-building influence of former USC sprinter and ex-Olympic, Occidental and Stanfordtrack and field coach Payton Jordan, will be published Dec. 1.

The book was authored by former Stanford athletes Jack Scott and Jim Ward, who were coached by Jordan. It is available for $34.95 from Nicholas Ward Publishing, 8555 Pennington Ct., Powell, Ohio 43065.

Scott says the book is 'more than a biography of Payton Jordan, a truechampion as a competitor and coach. The real story is of Jordan the teacher of character development and the positive influence, recognized now by the many athletes he coached. And, we are talking about the whole range from the greatest Olympic champions to the many less-than-great athletes who benefited equally from his leadership...The consistent message now with the benefit of four decades of reflection is one of character development.'

Jordan, who is being inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame in May, is regaded as USC's greatest college coaching export.

Jordan ran a leg on USC's 440-yard relay team that set a world record (40.5) at the West Coast Relays in 1938. He also played football and rugby at USC.

After four years in the Navy, he went on to be the head track and field coach at Redlands High, Occidental (winning league titles in each of his 10 years there, the NAIA crown in 1956 and twice placing in the Top 5 in the NCAA meet) and Stanford (1957-79). He also coached freshman football at Occidental. He is a member of the Occidental and Stanford Athletic Halls of Fame, as well as the National Track & Field Hall of Fame. He was the head coach of the U.S. team which won a record 24 medals in the 1968 Olympics.

He then became one of the most outstanding senior track athletes of all time (he was an inaugural member of the USA Track & Field Masters Hall of Fame in 1997). He set world records in the 100- and 200-meter dash for every age group from 55 to 80.